The New Black Friday

The retail industry has ruined Black Friday.  Our early morning dash to Target, watching the chaos of people searching for a good deal and having breakfast to celebrate our conquest is over.
With all the deals available on-line and stores opening on Thanksgiving, there really is no longer a Black Friday.  But we got up early and went out anyway.  The stores were all dead at 6 am.  Since we had done most of our shopping on-line already, it was rather deflating.
 Instead, we spent the day consoling ourselves by the pool with a Margarita.
 I think I can get use to this kind of Black Friday. :)
 Max didn't get enough grill time in with the turkey, so he grilled up some delicious ribs.
 My Grandpa, Uncle Larry and Aunt Anne came for dinner.  Uncle Larry was the crowd pleaser with the whip cream shots!

 My Grandpa challenged Max to a game of pool.  He hasn't played in 25 years.  He must have been quite a shark because he beat Max after all those years.  It was really fun to see the two of them play.
The kids decided to try to do a sleep out on the trampoline.  Hailey had a  hard time sleeping, as did I.  A little after midnight I went to check on them and RJ was missing!  I found him on the couch inside.  At that point the mommy panic mode took over and I decided they should all come in so we could get a good nights rest.
The kids all play so well.  Not a single fight between them. 
 Hank and Rayah were inseparable.
It was a great way to spend Black Friday.

Thanksgiving Day 2012

On Thanksgiving morning we thought it would be fun to burn some calories preemptively so we headed out to conquer the "baby mountain" by our house.
Grammy, Bubbus and baby Alanah made it to the first ridge and
Gramps made it to the top of the little mountain.
 Max and I helped Hailey, RJ, Karlie, Kaitlin, Hank and Rayah to the top!
Kids are natural climbers.  They really just needed guidance down the mountain.
When we got home it was time to get to work for the big feast!
This was our first Thanksgiving outside!  It was in the mid 80s and lovely.
It was baby Alanah's first Thanksgiving.  She is such a butterball.  :)
Max and I had a turkey throw down.
Max is quite the grill master these days.  He did a cajun smoked turkey that even had bacon on top.
I did the traditional bird.
 They were both incredible.  It was the moistest turkey I have ever made and Max's had the best flavor.
 While the competition was fierce at times, we made up.  Better luck next year babe.
 It was such a beautiful day to be giving thanks for all the blessings in our lives.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!
We are so thankful for family and the fullness they add to our lives.
We are thankful for the bountiful of beautiful blessings.

Nana Time

We were blessed to have Nana come spend some time with us while Max was in Florida for work.  She is so much help and fun to hang out with (kids and me alike)!
The night before Max had to leave he had a work dinner to attend.  It was so great to have Nana.  The kids made their favorite homemade pizzas.  There wasn't even any mess to clean up!  Such a deal.
A date is date, even if the table is talking in a language I don't understand.  It is always nice to get out with my man and eat some fancy food that someone else is paying for. :)
On Sunday we took a trip to the library and then headed to Starbucks to celebrate the cool weather.  The high was only 65!  Certainly need a hot chocolate with those types of temperatures.  We had a nice time sipping our warm drinks and reading our new books.
For Veteran's Day we went to the zoo with the monkeys.
The best part was when Nana took us to feed the giraffes!
They wrap their tongue around your fingers!
 They are such beautiful creatures.
 It was a really special treat.
 Each of us got to feed them twice.
 Their eyes are so sweet.  They are even more beautiful up close.
On Tuesday we had time for a lunch date with our little guy and a little shopping while the ladies were at school.
On Wednesday Nana got to see Hank's school and watch his Thanksgiving performance.
After Hank's little feast we headed for a hike before parent teacher conferences.  We always had a lot going on and I think we kept Nana on her toes from morning till bed.   It was wonderful having Nana in town and to have an extra pair of hands, eyes, and some extra love to go around.  I really treasure these times.  Thank you for coming!

Group Hug

Karlie and Kaitlin were being nasty to each other last night.  Nothing major but it had been an afternoon of them just not being nice and hurting each other's feelings.  The punishment in our house is a 1 minute hug.  By the end of the hug they are smiling, loving and suddenly the meanness is gone.  Works wonders every time.
Siri wanted in on the action and then Hailey and Hank jumped in too.  Everyone was much happier after a big old hug.  Maybe the President and the Republicans need to have a big old hug in to save us from the fiscal cliff. Think that would get the love flowing? :)

90s in November

One of these days I am going to get use to the heat.
I am still finding it hard to get in the mood for fall, Thanksgiving, and Christmas when it's in the 90s.
 This is the time of the year to be outside. We have been enjoying breakfast and dinner outside. 
 The kids are loving the weather for playing too.  Today it was a half day so they played for hours in the backyard.
 Then the sprinklers came on and made it twice as fun!
Karlie set up a rock shop and they play store morning and night out on the patio.  While the sun is fun and all, we are very excited for the "cold" front coming this weekend.  With a projected high of 60, we have jeans, boots and sweatshirts eagerly waiting.  Maybe it will finally feel like fall.

A Better Tomorrow

This is how Hailey is stashing her Halloween candy.  She has it neatly organized under her sink.  It is safely tucked away for the future.  No pesky brother or sneaky sister is going to look there.  Not even Mom doing laundry would be able to swipe a piece.  Maybe we should start investing our retirement under the sink, it would be safer than anything else right now.
Tomorrow is the big day!  Regardless of who you vote for, I know we can all agree it will be great to be done with endless political ads and intrusive phone calls urging you to vote for their guy.

America is at a big cross road.  We have some major housekeeping issues to tackle to get us back on our feet.  When a person is hemorrhaging in an operation, you have to first stop the bleeding before you can transfuse them.  Otherwise you waste a precious resource and the patient will still die.  To preserve America for our kids, were going to need a president that can stop the hemorrhage and transfuse new life into our political system.  We will need a leader that makes compromise for the good of the lives of America's people, not what's good for his team or his ego.  We will need someone who can bring the best and brightest from both sides of the isle to hammer out legislation for all of America's people.  It is going to be a long and painful recovery that will require sacrifice from the top 1% to the bottom 1% of incomes.  Everyone is going to have to give something to resuscitate our nation and it's future.

I don't know if either candidate can do it.  But I do know the guy that has had a chance hasn't.  In fact he has made us sicker than we were four years ago.  While Romney is far from my ideal President, I'm giving him my vote.  He still believes in the American dream.  He still believes that you can build a business.  He still believes that private enterprise is always going to do it at a better price and a higher quality than the federal government.  He still believes and is proud that we are the greatest nation in the world.  He still believes we are one nation under God.  I will be praying that Romney can do what Obama has not.

Siri's 1st Birthday

Siri had her first birthday on Oct 30th so we had to have a little party to celebrate our 5th child.
We went Day of the Dead style.
 Even Siri got to try the pumpkin pasta sauce.  It was interesting.  At first the kids loved it, but it had a lingering after taste that wasn't quite right.  I think we can skip it next year.
 But the kids were good sports and ate up all their supper so they could have birthday cake!
Siri got a special doggy cupcake of turkey, cheese, frosting and a rawhide rib as her candle.
 We sang Happy Birthday.  It was so warm the icing melted off the pumpkin face making him look like a vampire.
 Siri didn't mind, she said let them eat cake!
 Presents!  A new duck stuffy.  He lasted 24 hours before he had been defluffed and torn to pieces.
Siri is love.  She wants nothing more than to be by your side loving on you.  She is at my side all day.  She hears the bus come and eagerly waits to greet the kids.  She will go wake up Hailey on demand.  Siri is a good running partner too.  She just fits right in with all the chaos of the house.  Dogs and kids are just meant to go together.